For our second trip INSA set up a trip to Caen. Due to the anniversary of D-Day, President Obama had just been France. Caen is a town located in the region of Normandy. It is about 2 hours away from Rennes. The school had set up a van to come pick us up on campus and drive us to the WWII memorial in Caen.
The memorial was amazing. It was very well designed and very impacting. The museum was displayed in different sections. The first section with a timeline from the end of the WW I. This section was called “The Failure of Peace”. You walked down a ramp to the end of this section. Along the way there were articles, images and cartoons that were printed during this time. The entire museum had the description in three languages, French, English and German.
The memorial covered everything. It went from the soldier’s lives and what they wore, how they spend their days and what they did for fun. Then there was a room dedicated to the German invasions and the Holocaust, with part of the Berlin wall (not sure if it was real). Following that there was a room filled with candles (fake ones) and pictures of victims, it was very touching. There was a lot much in formation. It was very interesting hearing the impact of the war from some an other country’s point of view, especially a country as impacted as France. Sometimes we tend to forget just how many people the wars impact. They had a few of the tanks and Jeeps from D-day on display.
The museum was very big and it was very hard to see everything that it had. There was a movie on D-Day, been shown at the museum, so we had to rush through some of the museum to make it to the movie on time. The movie had very little audios aside from music so it was very natural for anyone of any language and very impressive. They had nice scenes where it went back and forth between the beaches during D-Day and what they look like now. There were a lot of veterans the same day; most of the ones that we saw were from Canada.
After the Museum we went to the Beaches of Normandy, same beaches where the soldiers disembarked on D-Day. Walking in the beach was my favorite part. It was very cool to be at the same place where it all happened and to remember the soldiers that gave their life for us. It started to rain very hard so we had to cut that visit short, but not before we went to the commentary (which is property of the US, I did not know that). I’m glad that INSA set up this trip for us.